Google’s German site briefly hijacked
Posted by @ B H i on January 27, 2007
Hamburg: Google, the world’s biggest web-search engine, had its German website cut off from the Internet on Tuesday, apparently after somebody hijacked the rights to its google.de address.
German surfers who tried to enter the Google site instead saw a web page hosted on the servers of a tiny German online provider, Goneo.
“The problem was fixed in a short space of time,” said Stefan Keuchel, a spokesman for the German branch of the US company, which earns most of its revenues from online advertising.
It remained unclear how nobody had noticed the unidentified hijacker when the domain – the ownership of the Internet address was re-registered late on Monday.
Much of the process of registering web addresses is automated. Domains often expire and go to new owners.
As of Tuesday, Google and its officers were once again registered as owner and contacts with Denic, the German agency that distributes all domains ending with the letters – de.
An online news service, Heise, said the hijack lasted about 12 hours, beginning Monday evening, and resembled a 2004 attack in which an individual seized control of the Ebay domain.
Heise quoted Goneo’s chief executive Marc Keilwerth saying one of his customers had used an automated ordering process and secured control of the google.de name as of 8:30 pm. He apologised and said all applications in future would be checked.
Goneo told Denic to undo the change, but someone else then secured the rights instead of Google until about 9:00 am on Tuesday, Heise said.